In a sign that mortgage rates are increasingly divorced from Reserve Bank cash rate decisions, RateCity has claimed 14 lenders have increased their interest rates since the RBA's February decision to leave rates on hold.
The lenders include Austral Mortgage, NAB-backed HomeSide, LJ Hooker Home Loans, Mortgage House and SCU. HomeSide saw the biggest increase, raising one of its variable mortgages 50 basis points to 7.70%. Austral Mortgage lifted three of its variable rate products by 15 basis points, Mortgage House increased 25 of its products by 15-18 basis points and SCU increased two of its basic variable rate loans by five basis points. LJ Hooker was second to HomeSide in the scope of its hike, moving two of its home loans up 40 basis points to 7.05%, but had not previously increased rates since August. NAB was not the only major bank to move on rates, with ANZ increasing its three-year fixed rate by 24 basis points to 7.34%. Fixed rate loans saw the majority of the increases, with 56 of 87 fixed rate products raising between five and 35 basis points.
RateCity CEO Damian Smith said the moves indicate that borrowers will have to pay close attention to lenders, rather than just watching the official cash rate.
"While Reserve Bank movements will still be the most important influence on mortgage rates, borrowers should expect to see regular movements like this, and it will be important to look closely at rates rather than just assume no change," Smith said.
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